Migrants and students feel cheated over residence visa decision

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People who missed out on one of the 165,000 residence visas are cursing their bad luck at not being on the right visa on the right day.
Among those also feeling aggrieved are those still working for New Zealand companies from overseas – and with valid visas – but who are excluded from the immigration announcement’s largesse because they could not be in the country due to border restrictions.
Many people expressed frustration at the lack of detail on criteria and timeframes for obtaining residence, if they are not eligible for the one-off visa.
Others were unlucky with the date of the government’s decision, including one man who changed from a work to a student visa days before the announcement.
The estimated 5000 post-study work visa holders stuck overseas because of the border restrictions found they would not qualify either.
Immigration minister Kris Faafoi said in a statement people who are not eligible for the new residence pathway will need to explore other visa options if they want to stay in New Zealand permanently.
“They can also apply for the new two-year Essential Skills visa if they’re paid below the median wage,” he said,
“The government is not currently intending to extend post-study work visas for those based overseas. This is in line with the approach we’ve taken with other temporary visas where plans were disrupted by Covid-19, as these people only ever intended to remain in New Zealand temporarily and circumstances may have changed by the time borders reopen.
“People who have gained valuable qualifications from study in New Zealand, and have been gaining useful work experience while offshore, can apply for work visas when the borders reopen if they have skills New Zealand needs.”

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